“I’m BORED!” Bingo (and 100 Simple Ways to have Fun this Summer!)

Summer is almost here!  I’m super excited!!! I truly love having all four kids home together.  Summer brings lots of playtime,  ice cream, and laughter.  However,  not all days can be perfect.   Summer also bring whining, arguments, and my least favorite words “I’m BORED”.  This year we’ve made plenty of plans for summer fun but I want to be ready with backup when I need it.  That’s where Bored Bingo comes in to play.

Each year I make up a summer reading challenge for my school-agers during the summer months.   While  browsing ideas for that on Pinterest I came across something called READ-O which is essentially bingo with a reading focus. That is so awesome!! They had some for math and writing as well.   That awesomeness inspired me to create another variation –  BORED Bingo.   I browsed the internet for the simplest summer play ideas I could find and went through our toys and games here at the house to gather a bunch of creative play ideas for the kids when those moments of boredom come along this summer. 

I purposefully focused on EASY activities.  I want this to be a  resource for them this summer that doesn’t involve a ton of prep from me  and encourages them to entertain themselves. I could make up cute little carnival games for them to play or teach them a bunch of magic tricks but encouraging them to come up with their own games and put on their own magic shows gets them more involved and will likely keep them entertained much longer.  I like that.  A LOT.

I didn’t just use play ideas. Our bingo cards  incorporate all kinds of areas I would like to see them focus on this summer.

  • Chores
  • Reading (ex. Read outdoors, Read to a sibling)
  • Writing (ex. Write a letter and mail it, Write a haiku)
  • Active challenges (ex. Do some yoga, 100 jumping jacks)
  • Play ideas to use with their younger brothers (ex. Take the boys for a wagon ride, Build a fort with the boys)
  • Ways to bless someone else in the house (ex. Do something nice for Daddy,  Find 3 ways to secretly bless someone)
  • At least one board game/card game to play
  • Cooking (ex. Make a healthy snack with fresh produce, Try a new recipe)
  • Art ideas (ex. Paint outdoors, Learn to draw something new)
  • STEM play (ex. Mystery bag, foam block engineering challenge)
  • Something Math or Literacy related (ex. Multiplication Battleship, Sight word practice games)
  • Ways to spend time with each sibling individually(ex. Play blocks with Lex, Play superheroes with Andrew)

Gentle nudges people, gentle nudges.

Finally, I made the middle spot of every single card their least favorite activity- the DREADED “Play with your sister- her choice!”  spot.  I don’t know about you but the biggest disagreements between my girls happen because one of them agrees to do something that the other wants to do and then backs out of it.   Nobody is happy when that happens.  Each card will give them an opportunity to agree to do something they might not pick otherwise and actually follow through with it.  Maybe they’ll learn a little something about getting along in the process?  I’m mean like that.  No freebies in this house!  If you want the prize you will have to earn it. 😀

Speaking of prizes, I have a plan for that!  I’m giving them the bingo cards, one at a time, without any real expectations. They can do it or not, whatever, but if I hear “I’m bored” I want to be able to send them to their current card for inspiration.  My only rule is 1 bingo per card and then they have to turn it in to redeem their prize.  I like to give the kids choices whenever I can so there are lots of ways to bingo with different prizes for each based on difficulty just like there are when playing actual bingo. 

  •   Regular bingo- horizontal, vertical or diagonal is worth an hour of screen time.
  •  H pattern is worth getting to stay up later than normal. ( Dad is not thrilled about this one.  Sorry Dad!!!)
  • Blackout Bingo is worth a special prize.  I have several things in mind for this that they’ll love, just for fun- maybe a new dress up outfit, art kit, math workbook(my 4th grader actually likes to do homework for fun sometimes), smaller Lego set…stuff I know my kids will really enjoy and use.  Nothing overly pricey though. It doesn’t have to be huge to be something they’d enjoy.


I used bingobaker.com to make up several different bingo cards with various activities.  If you aren’t familiar with this site, let me tell you, it’s great.  You can use it to create all kinds of theme based bingo games for kids.  I set mine to print just 1 card without a word list and added my activities.  I was able to  make a dozen different cards with the activities I gathered! The great thing is that you can make your cards to fit your child specifically and include the activities and toys that you already have at home.

I’ve included some of my activities here and links to any that I found online to help get the creative ball rolling.  You can also download the list HERE.

Bye, bye boredom!

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